Do you love horror fiction? Check out our Salem’s Lot book review and learn more about Stephen King’s second novel here.
Salem’s Lot reviewed
Many people find horror books intriguing. They trigger a release of adrenaline and let readers live out thrilling alternate realities, from ghosts to zombies.
One of the most popular horror authors is Stephen King, who comes from New England. King has written dozens of horror novels, with one of the earliest and most popular being Salem’s Lot.
Here, we’ll look at the book’s plot and characters. Keep in mind that this book review does contain spoilers, so consider this your warning.
What is Salem’s Lot about?
King’s second novel focuses on Ben Mears, who returns to Jerusalem’s Lot, a small town in Maine, after 25 years. While trying to write his book, Ben meets Susan Norton, a college graduate, and the two start a romantic relationship. Ben also becomes friends with Matt Burke, a teacher.
Ben’s book is about the Marsten House, in which he saw a ghost when he was young. He discovers that Kurt Barlow, an immigrant, purchased the house with the help of his business associate, Richard Straker.
Supposedly, Barlow is on a business trip, but the truth is that he’s a vampire, and Richard is his human familiar. All hell soon breaks loose. A boy named Ralphie Glick disappears, and Barlow turns his brother Danny into a vampire.
Danny then turns other people into vampires, including Mike Ryerson, Randy McDougall (a newborn), Jack Griffen, and Marjorie (his mother). However, he doesn’t turn Mark Petrie because he held a cross in Danny’s face.
The writer Ben Mears and Susan try to prevent the spread of vampires, with the help of Matt, Jimmy Cody, Mark, and Father Callahan. After a series of bloody encounters, Mark and Ben destroy Barlow and manage to escape, leaving the entire town of Jerusalem’s Lot to vampires.
In the prologue, which describes the events after the novel’s end, we learn that Ben and Mark went to Mexico to recover. The epilogue reveals that both return to Jerusalem’s Lot the following year to renew the battle.
Our review of Salem’s Lot
The main inspiration for this horror novel was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The author worked as an English teacher at the time and covered the book in class. One evening, he wondered what would happen if Dracula came to 20th-century America. Over the next few days, King devised the plot for Salem’s Lot.
If you’ve ever read a Stephen King novel, you know how great the author is at presenting characters, building their background, and describing gruesome events.
This novel starts slowly. We’re introduced to the main character and learn more about his past. Then, we get to know other characters important to the story and learn more about life in small-town America. In the first half, it’s almost like this book isn’t a horror story. Hence, this novel is a great example of a slow burn.
Stephen King takes his time to develop fascinating backstories. At the same time, he increases the tension, to the point of making the reader uncomfortable while anticipating what’s coming next.
Once the story reaches its culmination in the second half, it becomes truly spooky. The author’s rich use of language enhances the sense of foreboding and raises the hairs on the back of your neck.
The entire story flows smoothly, the narration is impeccable, and the descriptions of the characters are detailed and vivid. King pays special attention to great character development, focusing on their thoughts, quirks, loves, emotions, and everything in between.
Since it was published in 1975, the novel features elements that could be considered outdated, like certain slang or cultural references. Still, many critics and bloggers agree that the novel is a must-read for all devotees of horror fiction, vampire novels, and stories about undead creatures.
Salem’s Lot was adapted into a miniseries of the same name.
If you enjoyed Salem’s Lot, don’t hesitate to explore other King’s books like Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, and Misery. Those who like short stories should read The Boogeyman, Night Shift, The Mist, The Body, etc.
You should also explore The Dark Tower series, which features eight books:
The Drawing of the Three
The Waste Lands
Wizard and Glass
The Little Sisters of Eluria
Wolves of the Calla
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower
The Wind Through the Keyhole
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If you want to enjoy audio versions of popular Stephen King books like It, Bag of Bones, Blood and Smoke, and many others, Speechify Audiobooks is the way to go. The platform offers a wide selection of horror fiction as well as thousands of titles from other genres.
In addition to a wide range of titles, Speechify Audiobooks offers exceptional features that can enhance user experience. For example, you can adjust the playback speed according to your preferences, skip forward, go back, set a sleep timer, etc.
You can use Speechify Audiobooks on your computer or mobile phone and have peace of mind knowing your progress will be synced automatically.
Is Salem’s Lot a good read?
Yes, it’s an excellent read for those who enjoy horror stories.
Is Chapelwaite linked to Salem’s Lot?
Chapelwaite is a television series based on Jerusalem’s Lot, the prequel to Salem’s Lot. So, yes, we can say Chapelwaite is linked to Salem’s Lot.
Should I read Salem’s Lot before watching the TV series?
You don’t have to read the book to understand the TV series, but you’re more than welcome to read it if you like the genre.
How long does it take to read Salem’s Lot?
This depends on how fast you’re reading. If you’re reading 250 words per minute, it will take you around 11 hours to complete the book.
What is the genre of Salem’s Lot?
Salem’s Lot belongs to the horror genre.